The George W. Bush Presidential Center is situated in a 15-acre landscape that displays native north Texas Blackland Prairie in a highly visible urban condition.
The landscape recreates floodplain forest, wildflower meadows, and native grasslands to increase habitat, dramatically decrease water consumption, and filter stormwater. Stormwater runoff is conveyed through a series of vegetated bioswales that is collected in a wet prairie where water slowly infiltrates below grade to a 250,000-gallon cistern. Blackland Collaborative members worked with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. to develop the plant designs and compositions for the urban prairie and native turf areas, a pilot mockup of the varied plant components, soil design, plant performance on slopes, irrigation demands, and seed establishment versus plug establishment. Like Blackland Collaborative restoration projects, the grasses and forbs receive establishment irrigation during the first year, but then thrive solely on precipitation thereafter.